Maud Vanhauwert - WHAT TO DO WITH

What to do with the woman who suddenly
spread her arms. Did she want to hug me
or was she pointing in two directions_

What to do with the writer who hasn’t
published his books because ‘as long as
the fruit’s on the vine it won’t rot’_

What to do with the man on the bridge. He
peers into the distance and says, ‘tell me
about it’_

With the man who strung himself up with
a tie. Fitting and solemn. Respectful
of death_

With the raped girl and the people
who say ‘she’s not even that pretty’_

The woman who exposes her rolls of fat
and says ‘look, these are my slums’_

The burnt motorbike and the sleepless child
who’s suddenly reappeared in the living room_

What to do with the testicles of the tomcat
that is much calmer now_

What to do with the people with nothing to say
who have come to the party anyway_

What to do with the queasy child.
He really does feel very sick_

What to do with the woman who pops up behind
me and says ‘you know me from somewhere
and you get to say where’_

Translated by David Colmer